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Contributors JM, RP and CB conceived and designed the study. JM and CB did the data screening, data extraction and quality assessment. JM, RP and CB did the statistical analyses. FDRH and CJT provided clinical expertise and input. All authors interpreted the data and drafted, critically appraised and approved the final manuscript.
Funding This work was supported by funds for independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under the Programme Grants for Applied Research programme (RP-PG-1210-12003). RP and CB are supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford. FDRH acknowledges part-funding from the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, NIHR CLARHC Oxford, NIHR Oxford BRC and NIHR Oxford DEC. CJT is supported by an NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship at the University of Oxford.
Disclaimer The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health). The study funders did not have any role in the study design, analysis or interpretation of data, in writing of the report or in the decision to submit the article for publication. All researchers were independent from funders.
Competing interests All authors have had financial support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for the submitted work. RH declared research support for a trial of HF diagnosis from Roche Diagnostics by supply of BNP assays in 2010/11. RP is an Associate Editor for BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
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